The Adventure Begins! Biking the Harvest Moon Trail

October 14

We’re crossing the Harvest Moon Trail Adventure off our bucket lists.

Tomorrow morning ,we will swing our legs across our sturdy bikes and begin the 110 km trek to Grand pre . That’s the plan anyway. Today will be preparation-not that there is much to do- there is only so much you can take in a small back pack. We booked a hotel halfway along (55 km)

After all, we are’t young anymore. I may not receive the OAS yet, but I can see it from where I’m standing.My partner-in-crime in  this adventure is my long time friend Grace- who I have known since school, and who is (marginally) younger than me. And it’ not as if we are expert bikers. We aren’t. We try to get out as schedules and life permits, which, yes, isn’t often enough. Anyway, it seems to be my motto to under-prepare.Why make it easy? What’s the fun in that? Ask me this question on Wednesday-the day after our return.

We chose to go in October. I don’t know why the hell we did, except it works for both our schedules and there are no ticks, mosquitoes or unbearably hot weather. And usually it is beautiful- colorful, crisp, cool.

Tomorrow is supposed to be like that- Tuesday, not so much.

Weather for the Great Adventure
Weather for the Great Adventure

So this is what I packed for a two day, overnight -at -a -motel trip. All to fit in one, small  backpack.

  • Slacks/top for wearing out to supper-top is dry-wicking and can be worn for Tuesday’s ride.
  • under garments
  • nightie
  • socks (2 pairs)
  • thick zippered hoodie
  • light rain poncho
  • deodorant
  • toothpaste & tooth brush
  • comb
  • face lotion-hoping the motel with have shampoo and conditioner
  • small 1st aid kit
  • flashlight-also small
  • granola bars  (we will be stopping on the way to eat
  • tire pump
  •  water bottle, plus one on the bike-I get thirsty.

Obviously this is not  a hard core carry -everything -with -you type of bike trip. But an adventure, just the same.

Oct 15

9 am

We did not know what we were in for .Harvest Moon Trail Adventure
Look at those innocent smiles.We did not know what we were in for Harvest Moon Trail Adventure

Andddd we’re off. Hubby dropped us off at the trail head in Annapolis Royal . The day is cool, and I pull on gloves over my somewhat tattered biking gloves.After celebratory picture taking-we’ve got this far, right?-we head off into the unknown. And it is unknown. Neither of us have bike this portion of the trail before. I have heard vicious rumors that is isn’t great. We will see.

Guess what. Those rumors are true! This trail is hard going..quite sandy, sort of like biking when one needs air in the tires. Add that to the fact that we haven’t biked enough to prepare-and it’s not  a pretty site.

11:45 am

It’s just before noon when we struggle to the Bridgetown trail had and decide to stop at the End of the Line pub for lunch. I treat myself  to a delicious bowl of seafood chowder.

Lunch time at the End of the Line Pub. Harvest Moon Trail Adventure
Lunch time at the End of the Line Pub. Harvest Moon Trail Adventure

Big mistake.

By then it the weather is warmer considerably and with the effort of pushing those tires along the trail,the creamy chowder isn’t  sitting too well. Lesson learned. No milk products before  a hard workout for me.

There is no getting around it-this section of the Harvest Moon Trail is tough for us. By the end of the day, we are taking more breaks (our butts are screaming) and even walking for short distances.

 

 

Early in our trip-before we were too tried to snap pics .Harvest Moon Trail Adventure
Early in our trip-before we were too tired to snap pics .Harvest Moon Trail Adventure

 

 

Along the Annapolis River before Bridgetown.Harvest Moon Trail Adventure
Along the Annapolis River before Bridgetown.Harvest Moon Trail Adventure

 

 

 

6:30 pm

We finally straggle into Kingston-half way.Big yay.

We check in, shower and collapse. There are no restaurants within walking distance, and there is no way in hell we are getting back on those bikes tonight, so we order in pizza.

In fact, we are so tired, sore and discouraged, we wonder if we should just give up.

The weather for tomorrow sounds ominous. It may be just the excuse we need.

It’s 2 am.I wake up and pad to the bathroom. The rain is pounding down and the wind is howling. Luckily, we sneaked our bikes inside, so they are nice and dry. And waiting…..

October 16 

Dear God, it’s morning. And not raining. Windy though.

Stiff. Sore. And my behind? There are no words.

Last night we got a flurry of encouragement from Facebook friends.

That and the feeling of being rested in a very comfy bed, combined with the fact that we are both too damn stubborn to cry uncle-especially now that the weather isn’t so bad.-we decide to push ahead.

We dally over the free continental breakfast offered by the Aurora Inn. We  would both like to reach Grand pre before winter, so we strap on our backpacks-which feel twice as heavy as yesterday, and carefully settle ourselves onto our bike seats. Again, no words. But I am screaming in my head.

At least we are familiar with the trail from Coldbrook on. That’s a big plus.So glad we decided to start our in Annapolis as we had been advised. The worst is behind us.

We hope.

9 am

What a pleasant surprise! The trail is actually great here. And we are mostly protected from the wind by a tunnel of colorful trees.Huzzah!

The trail was beautiful through here.Harvest Moon Trail Adventure

11:30 am

We make Berwick before lunch and stop at the Driftwood for breakfast. That’s right . Two breakfasts in one day. We deserve it.

Our second breakfast of the day.Harvest Moon Trail Adventure
Our second breakfast of the day.Harvest Moon Trail Adventure

Our plan is to stop for coffee in Kentville and then push through the remaining 16 km to Grand pre. I can’t believe it. We’re doing this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 pm
We made it. Again with the celebratory photo shoot.  I don’t truly feel as proud as I thought. Just glad to get away from that bike (but I love my bike). Hubby loads the bikes, we drop Grace off and I go home to a hot bath with Epsom salts and  supper.

Epilogue 
I’ve been thinking about this ride a lot. I’m quite  proud now that we finished the ride. Stiffness and tiredness and yes even saddle sores fade. If it had been easy, what would have been the challenge in that? What might have been easy for some people most certainly was not easy for us- for me. I look back now at what had been a great ride. I don’t think about the soft difficult trail (not much) but about the huge black squirrel I passed along the way or the good sized pile of poo peppered with red berries I saw.(I didn’t tell Grace that we rode past bear poop.It was a need to know situation)

I know have  a little more faith in myself-I can keep going with it’s really hard and doubts creep in.

Accountability is key. I know this as well.

If it hadn’t been for Grace-I might have quit before I even got started.If it wasn’t for the support we got from Facebook friends,and from husbands, friends and family- we might have jumped on Kings Transit Tuesday morning heading east  instead of pushing though to Grand pre.

So, it’s not just  my victory-it’s yours too.

Thank you for that.

We made it. Harvest Moon Trail Adventure
We made it. Harvest Moon Trail Adventure